Hackers stole Michael Jackson songs worth $250 million from Sony

Sony’s PlayStation Network major outage last year was not the only damage done by hackers. Michael Jackson’s entire back catalogue of more than 50,000 music files, worth some $250 million, was stolen as well, it has been revealed.

The hack was traced to the U.K., according to a report in British dailyThe Sun, and two men aged 25 and 26 appeared in court last week inregard to the theft. Both men reportedly denied the charges and wereallowed bail. They were arrested last May and are due to stand trial inJanuary 2013.

In April 2011, hackers stole details of more than77 million games onthe Sony PlayStation Network, which led tolengthy downtime of thenetwork and a serious dent in Sony’s reputation and pockets of around$165 million.

The attack on the Michel Jackson files happenedshortly after the PSNhack and outage, and this is the first time it has been reported. The50,000 music files have an estimated worth of $250 million, after Sonypaid some $395 million for the seven-year rights to the songs followingJackson’s death in 2009.

Sony’s compromised materials include unreleased duets with artists suchas the late Freddie Mercury and Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am. Thework of other artists with Sony was affected as well, including JimiHendrix and Avril Lavigne.

An unnamed source at Sony told the British paper that the Jacksonestate was told about the hack, but it wasn’t made public because therewas no customer data involved, unlike the PSN attack.

Follow DanielIonescu and [email protected] PCWorld onTwitter.

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